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Texas v. Holder

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The Voter ID case of Texas v. Holder, No. 12-cv-0128, goes to trial today in the U.S. District Court in D.C.  Rachel Weiner has this story at the WaPo.

This is one of those rare kinds of cases that Congress still requires to be tried before a panel of three judges, rather than a single judge as most cases are.  Three-judge trial courts for important cases were the norm under the original Judiciary Act of 1789, but the requirement has shrunk over the years to only a handful of cases.  Not surprisingly, the cases most personally important to members of Congress are a large part of the remaining few.

The other important consequence of that classification is that the appeal goes straight to the Supreme Court, bypassing the Court of Appeals.  (See 28 U.S.C. ยง1253.)  It is an appeal in the technical sense, not a petition for writ of certiorari, meaning the high court must take it.

The notion that a simple requirement to show ID is a Republican plot to disenfranchise qualified voters who will reliably vote for the Democrats strikes me as odd.  If that were the purpose, it would be singularly ineffective.  The IDs are free and easy to get.  The same union political machine that rounds up the party-line-voting sheep on election day can round them up a couple months earlier to go down to DMV and get the IDs.  It's only a problem if they are not, in fact, qualified to vote, and that should be a problem.

Update:  Mike Scarcella has this post on the arguments at BLT.

2 Comments

Not buying the poll tax argument that Prof. Filler puts forward?

http://www.thefacultylounge.org/2012/07/the-marginal-cost-of-voting-in-pennsylvania-1.html

Good for you.

I suppose next the government will be constitutionally required to send a taxi for every voter, because buying your own gas to drive to the polling place is a poll tax.

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